A year after Wil and Amberle left Eretria in Safehold, the Rover girl is living in the ruins of San Francisco, scavenging Old World technology for Cogline with Lyria, and wondering why Wil and Amberle have not come looking for her.
Lyria and Eretria are out on a job together when they are found and chased after by Trolls. Eretria manages to kill two of the Trolls and leads her pursuers out to the ruins of the Golden Gate Bridge, where she is knocked into the water by a Troll. While under the waters of the bay, she sees a vision of Amberle, who tells her: "A new darkness is coming. You must find Wil. The fate of the world depends on it."
Eretria wakes up in one of San Francisco's old buildings, where she is being tended to by Lyria. Lyria says that she doesn't know how Eretria survived her fall of the bridge, but says that Eretria kept saying "Amberle" while she was unconscious. Despite Lyria telling her to rest, Eretria goes to speak to Cogline, who urges her to let go of Wil and Amberle. It becomes clear that Eretria does not know that Amberle has become the Ellcrys, and that she believes that Wil and Amberle are living happily in Arborlon.
Later, Lyria asks Eretria about Amberle and Wil. She asks if Amberle was her lover, which Eretria denies. When Lyria asks if Eretria loves Wil, Eretria says that she doesn't anymore, and says that it's Lyria who has her heart now. She says that she hopes Lyria will open up to her more instead of being so mysterious about herself.
They share a kiss, but Eretria's words make Lyria feel guilty, and she reveals a secret to her girlfriend: Cogline has been lying to Eretria. According to Lyria, Cogline told everyone in his group except for Eretria that people may be looking for her, and he ordered his people to prevent anyone from ever finding Eretria.
Some time later, some people came to Cogline and said that "the Eretria problem" had been taken care of. Lyria, who witnessed this, said they gave Cogline an item as proof that the problem had been taken care of, and that although she didn't see what that item was, Cogline must still be holding onto it.
Lyria and Eretria go search Cogline’s belongings, and eventually Eretria finds Wil's stone pendant. They are caught by Cogline, who reveals to Eretria that Wil searched for her for months and that he prevented Wil from finding Eretria because a scion of Shannara would only end up hurting her. He points out that he had promised Eretria's mother that he would guard her with his life, but Eretria counters by saying that wasn't his choice to make.
Eretria and Lyria leave Cogline and his people and head out to Arborlon. They are caught by Rovers while traversing Rover territory.